The original Wii remains as Nintendo’s best-selling home console to date and one of the highest-selling game consoles of all time. Having amassed over 100 million units in over six years, it truly was a success. The Switch has been selling at a rate similar to that of the Wii since 2017 and has even been outdoing its performance in some aspects. But, Nintendo President Furukawa does not believe that the Switch is successful in the same way that the Wii was.
During the Q&A session of Nintendo’s recent investor’s briefing, an investor asked if the Switch would follow the same pattern as the Wii did in terms of selling well the first two years and then dropping off in the third year. President Furukawa responded by saying that he does that think we can “make a simple comparison between the two platforms.” He pointed to how the Wii was made first-and-foremost with the casual market in mind, specifically with the introduction of Wii Sports. He then turned attention back to the Switch, mentioning that the consumers “have played multiple titles on Switch from its first year”rather than the Wii which generated specific crowds. Furukawa sees this as a good thing, as it gives the platform a chance to “grow” and “be different”.
Times are Changing
The majority of Switch owners that I personally know are either adults or late teenagers. So, it does seem like the Switch really does appeal more to traditional players. While the Wii did attract millions of people from all over, its popularity fizzled out as the hype died down. Meanwhile, the Switch is being enjoyed by a solid mix of people. So, if game developers are able to release a consistent schedule of truly decent titles, the Switch’s sales momentum will likely continue and the hybrid console design will be formally here to stay.